Fifty or a hundred years ago, an average man came home from work physically exhausted and filthy. There are days I almost envy that kind of work. At the end of the shift, you can point out a stack of steel beams or twenty truckloads of coal and see that you actually did something with your day. By contrast, I got home tonight exhausted, but only from the neck up. Jumping from one thing to another, answering phone calls and questions, and occasionally making things up as I went along just plain wore me out today. If I bothered to starch my collar, though, you wouldn’t know I spent the day at work. I’m trying not to remind myself that it’s only Monday, because my brain is well and truly fried. That doesn’t bode particularly well for the rest of the week.
Still, the part of me whose grandfathers dug coal, stamped tires, and spent their lives doing hard physical labor doesn’t feel quite right complaining about how mentally draining it is to sit in front of a computer screen, answer the phone, and beg, cajole, and threaten people to get the job done is. It seems somewhat less daunting when laid against the kind of physically demanding jobs that they had. Knowing that doesn’t make my gray matter any less shot on days like this, though.
I’ve heard that some extroverts thrive on fast paced, loud, raucous environments. Unfortunately, I’m not an extrovert by nature. To make good decisions I need time to think, reflect, and process and time was the one thing in short supply today. Sure, I’ll keep making decisions, under those conditions, but they won’t be my best. I suppose they don’t always need to be. All I really need now is a nice quiet room, a good book, and possibly a dog or two and I should be back in fighting trim before the sun comes up tomorrow. How it goes after that is still way, way up in the air.